Moving Past the Moratorium

After residents expressed concerns regarding the results of some of the new development projects in their neighborhood, the Golden City Council enacted a temporary moratorium on new multi-household developments in order to give staff the opportunity to revise the existing zoning code to align better with the character of the neighborhood. Since then, City planners, the Planning Commission, and City Council worked hard to address and update the code, with significant help from the public who provided great feedback and ideas… Read more…

City Planning and Job-Hunting

Today is Museum Selfie Day (yes, that’s a thing). The History Museum is closed, but the Quilt, Mountaineering, Railroad, and Buffalo Bill Museums are open, as is Dinosaur Ridge.

State Representative Jessie Danielson will be at Cannonball Creek from 6-7 for News and Brews. This is a good chance to discuss issues impacting our district.

Guest House in Golden Colorado

The Planning Commission meets tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. They will consider a request to designate 1114 Illinois Street as a tourist home. They will also consider a site plan for a 68,000 ft. sq. office and warehouse structure in the Coors Technology Center. Finally, they will decide whether to grant a special use permit to allow 100% residential use on a lot that is adjacent to the new Senior Apartments at Highway 93 and Golden Gate Canyon Road.  Learn more by reading the meeting packet….

There will be a multi-industry career fair tomorrow from 1-3PM at the Jefferson County Human Resources Building. Full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions are available. Learn more….

Tomorrow night from 6-7:30 Nathan Richie, the Director of the Golden History Museum, will give a lecture on Early Golden and the Quest for the Capitol. Learn more….

Who knew a Tuesday could be so fun?

Golden Beer Talks - The Horse Protection LeagueGolden Beer Talks, featuring Margaret Blaha of the Horse Protection League, will start at 6:30. It’s likely to be a crowded night, so get there early if you want to get a table!  Tonight’s beer will come from Holidaily Brewing Company–Colorado’s only 100% gluten-free brewery.

Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse will have Live Mic Night from 6-9PM, so stop by to enjoy some local performers.

New Terrain Brewing Company will host Yoga on Tap from 6-7PM.

The Ace Hi Tavern will have Trivia Night, starting at 7PM.

Head to the Mountaineering Center tonight at 7PM for OFA Talks. This is a new and unique forum focused around 12 minute talks on policies affecting each of us— from healthcare to tax policy; “green” technologies to the carbon industries and education. OFA TALKS is fast, fun, informative, and full of facts. People from all walks of life are welcome and encouraged to attend. Learn more….

The Planning Commission will hold a study session tomorrow night at 6:30 in City Council Chambers.  They will discuss a request received from citizens of the Central Neighborhoods.

Central Neighborhoods Zoning Change - Golden ColoradoWhen a 44-unit affordable housing project was proposed for the corner of 24th and Ford Streets, the neighborhood was utterly dismayed by the bulk, density, and urban appearance of the proposed building.  They felt like an unwelcome piece of downtown Denver was being shoved into a residential neighborhood in small-town Golden.

The neighbors are suggesting a couple of changes to local zoning that should reduce tension regarding future projects.  First, they suggest that any new buildings north of 24th street be restricted to two stories (the 44 unit building would have been three stories).  Second, they’re asking that new buildings cover no more than 40% of the lot, and that they include some greenery between the building and the sidewalk.  This, again, is a reaction to the 44 unit place, which filled the property from curb to curb.

Planning Commission will also discuss their workplan for 2018.  Learn more….

Renting Rooms, Trick or Treating, Bats, Books, and Ankle Arthritis

Pansy's Parlor Bed & Breakfast - Golden Colorado

The Planning Commission will have a study session tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. They’re covering an interesting topic. Golden’s increasing popularity as a tourist destination is leading many people to think of renting out rooms to tourists. Can anyone do this? What are the legal requirements? What’s the difference between an in-law apartment, a tourist home, and a bed & breakfast? What is a “dormitory?” These are the questions that the Planning Commission will consider tonight. City staff has put together a helpful matrix, showing the type of zoning that allows each type of home, the number of parking spaces required, types of building and fire codes that the owners need to meet, etc. Remember–there’s no time set aside for public comment at study sessions, so this is not the time to weigh in on their deliberations. You’ll need to wait till their November 1st meeting to address the Commission.  See the meeting packet for more details about tonight’s topic.

One last reminder–Golden High School is hosting Trick or Treat Night tonight from 5:30-7:30 for elementary school-aged children.

Jefferson County Open Space program on bats

Jefferson County Open Space is giving a program entitled “Understanding Bats – Myths, Facts and More” tonight from 6-8:30 at the Jeffco Open Space Building, 700 Jefferson County Parkway, Suite 100 (map).

Three School Board candidates–Brad Rupert, Susan Harmon, & Ron Mitchell–will be at Cannonball Creek Brewing Company (map) from 6-7:30 for a Meet & Greet.

Panorama Orthopedics is offering a free session about Ankle Arthritis & Instability tonight from 6:30-8PM. Learn more….

The Golden Library is hosting Colorado author David Baron tonight from 6:30-7:30. Mr. Baron will discuss his new book, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World.

September Preview

Autumn in Golden Colorado

First Friday Downtown – Free Carriage Rides
Colorado Rails & Cocktails
Open Mic/Easel Night
Farmers Markets
Coffee with a Council (Charis-Graves)
DIY Lab: Calming Glitter Jars
Golden Super Cruise
Polka Lovers Club
Labor Day
English Paper Piecing @ Quilt Museum
DIY Lab: Golden Fleece Fellowship
Bonfils Blood Drive
Scrabble from 12-4 @ the Library
Magic Mountain Archaeology Lecture
Planning Commission Public Hearing
Backyard Explorers @ the Library
First Thursday Lecture @ CSM Geology Museum
Opening Night of Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Museum Movie Night-Mountaineering Museum
Open Mic Night w/Skeleton Dolls
Be A Tool! Neighborhood Rehab
Fire Dept – Safety & Preparedness Day
Dinosaur Discover Day – GeoCaching
Finding Your Own Artistic Voice at FAC
Calligraphy Class at FAC
CSM Skyline Chorus Presents Honey, I’m Home
2nd Annual Golden Giddyup
High-Voltage Book Group – Nick and Tesla’s Secret Agent Gadget Battle
First rehearsal for Golden Concert Choir
Golden Writing Circle
Golden Beer Talks
Wild Wednesday at the Library
Taxes in Retirement – Library
Toddler Dance Party @ Library
Facebook Training @ Library
Rock Talk at FAC
City Council
Golden High School Homecoming
Coyote Chase Shelton Elementary
NREL Walking Tour
Toby’s Pet Parade & Fair
Grand Opening – Fresh Food Co-Op
Set Your Horizons – FAC
Coffee with a Councilor – Casey Brown
All Aboard for Art at the RR Museum
Oktoberfest at Denver Kickers Club
Buffalo Bill’s Western Roundup
Author Talk: LeAnna DeAngelo @ the Library
DIY Lab – Sharpie Dishware @ the Library
Director’s Story Time @ the RR Museum
Tuesday Night Book Group: The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars
Using the Cloud: Google Drive @ the Library
Superstars in Colorado History
City Council Study Session
Freaky Friday at the Library
Glitter in the Garden @ FAC
Farmers Markets
Model Railroading at the RR Museum
Golden Gallop
Golden Bike Cruise – Zombie Night
Front Porch Golden Book Club
3D Paper Sculptures @ the Library
Ukulele Wednesday @ the Library
Everything Dinosaur Talk: Horned Dinosaurs
Calming Glitter Jars @ the Library
CSM Walking Tour
CSM Homecoming
Farmers Market
Drumline Concert @ GHS

Meetings, Athetics, and Service

Kayaking in Golden Colorado

It’s another Wild Wednesday in Golden, bookended by meetings to review the City staff’s plans for Capital Improvements over the next 10 years.  The Citizens Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC) will discuss it at 7:30AM and the Planning Commission will discuss it at 6:30PM.  Both meetings will be held in City Council Chambers.  Neither meeting packet included a copy of the draft Capital Improvement Plan.

Lots of athletic and/or outdoorsy things happening today.

9AM – Golden Walks, leaving from the Visitors Center
Golden River Sports Demo Night on Clear Creek
6:00Fly-tying class at Golden River Sports
6:00Miles & Smiles Run Club at Holidaily Brewing
5:45Foothills Running & Cycling Club Track Workouts
6:00Wheeling Wanderers taking a bike ride from New Terrain Brewing. Proudfoot Cycles demos will be available. Win a New Terrain Proudfoot Cycles FATBIKE!

The School of Mines students are returning this week.  This Saturday, they will be doing their Blaster’s Service Extravaganza.  During this event, groups of students undertake service project for businesses, non-profits, or residents.  Need some yard work?  A group of really smart college students will come do it for you–for FREE!  Learn more and sign up at their webpage.


The Slippery Slope

Tomorrow night, the Historic Preservation Board will be asked to certify that it’s “Appropriate” that a 1948 single family dwelling with garage should be demolished. The property owner wants to replace it with 6 townhouses and 6 two-car garages.

Chances are, the board will approve it. There’s nothing particularly special about this 1948 home on Ford Street.

After that, the developer will go to the Planning Commission with his plans to fill the lot from side to side, front to back, with his proposed condos. Chances are, the Commission will approve it. If a proposed development meets our written requirements, the Planning Commission has little choice but to approve it.

There is growing concern in Golden that somehow, our plans and zoning are serving outside developers better than they are serving current residents.

People live in Golden because they like the “small town feel.” What is a small town? There are many components, but among them is a leisurely pace, little traffic, no trouble finding parking, knowing your neighbors, running into friends at the grocery store or downtown. Golden’s rapid growth is making these way-of-life elements harder to preserve.

The historic neighborhoods near the Creek lost some of their idyllic quality when they were forced to adopt a parking permit system. The historic downtown became a little less inviting when paid parking kiosks were installed. Traffic on our streets grows heavier every day. Residents of the East Street neighborhood, where these new condos will be built, are astonished to find themselves in traffic that backs up for blocks along Ford and Jackson. These changes just don’t fit our vision of living in a small town.

Traffic in Golden Colorado

It’s not your imagination–Golden really is becoming more crowded. Here are some of the recent and upcoming additions:

Recent Construction:  172 units at Outlook Golden Ridge, 99 units at West 8th Street Apartments, 12 condos on 8th Street, Miner’s Point on 12th & Jackson – 3 stories, mixed residential & commercial, Prospector’s Point on 13th & Jackson – 4 stories, mixed residential & commercial

Planned or under construction:  109 Senior Apartments on Golden Gate Canyon Rd & Hwy 93, 12 Townhomes at 19th & Ford, 13 dwelling units plus retail at 24th & Ford (south side of 24th), 60 units of low-income housing at 24th & Ford (north side of 24th), 185 “dormitory”-style apartments (which means shared kitchens) across from Safeway, 4 condos at 8th & Arapahoe

Nor is our 1% growth limit slowing things as much as we had envisioned. It went into effect in 1996, and growth continued at about the same pace.

I don’t mean to pick on the Ford Street development in particular, but similar projects (scrape off the old and replace it with something bigger and/or higher density) are coming faster and faster. The new developments are always multi-story, blocking views from the older, single story houses. The new developments pack in more people per square foot, which puts more people and vehicles on our streets.

A lot of people want to move to Golden, and since most of us love it here, we are in complete sympathy with their desire. The question is–is it possible to accommodate the endless hunger for housing while preserving the small town way of life that attracted us in the first place?

This Week’s Meetings

Sad news:  long-time Golden Transcript newspaper man John Tracy died yesterday.  John has been a stalwart member of the Golden Chamber for decades and was the much-loved face of the Transcript in the Golden community.  We will miss him.

The Planning Commission meets tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. The School of Mines is asking the City to vacate a portion of 14th Street to allow them to build a parking garage. The Commission will vote to postpone the hearing until September 6th, and after the meeting will walk over to the proposed garage location on the School of Mines campus.  Commission will be allowed to ask staff any clarification questions related to the property, but not to discuss or debate topics related to the case.  Learn more….

The Public Art Commission will meet tomorrow morning at 9AM in City Council Chambers.  They plan to move Checkmate from the north end of Golden to the new “lid” over Highway 6 at 19th Street.  The Cyclist will also go somewhere on the lid.  The Commission plans to put out an RFP for a new piece to put on the north end of town, to replace Checkmate.  They will discuss the draft RFP at this meeting.  Learn more….

Buffalo Rose Redesign (Take 2)

The Library’s Tuesday night book group will meet tonight at 6.  They’ll be discussing Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  At 6:30, the Library will host a speaker discussing “Privacy and Civil Liberties in the Digital Age.”

Buffalo Rose Redesign - Golden ColoradoClick to enlarge

Tomorrow Night
You may recall that last fall, the owner of the Buffalo Rose brought plans for a redesign to the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Board.  At that time, the owner planned to demolish and rebuild most of the structure, and add a rooftop dining area. (Click here to see those earlier plans.)  The owner now has a new set of plans that do not involve demolition–he plans to remodel the existing building.

The owner will be at tomorrow night’s Planning Commission study session to discuss the new plans.  The Planning Commission wants to discuss whether the design complies with the 2009 Downtown Character Code.  That code was put in place to ensure that new or redesigned buildings would harmonize with the rest of downtown’s architectural styles, materials, height, colors, etc.  The new design will also come before the Historic Preservation Board at their August meeting.  To see the details of the Buffalo Rose redesign, check the Planning Commission’s meeting packet on the city website.

The Planning Commission will also discuss the results of meetings that were held between the School of Mines and the surrounding historic neighborhoods.  The School of Mines has done a lot of building in recent years, and plans to continue building and growing.  Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods find that Mines’ growth is eroding the quality of life for the neighbors.  The City is trying to broker an arrangement where Mines’ growth will have less negative impact of the surrounding neighborhoods.  For more information, see the meeting packet.

Moving right along…

4th of July in Golden Colorado

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July.  Thanks to the Golden Lions Club and the City employees for another wonderful hometown celebration.

Are you ready for our next party?  We’ll be celebrating First Friday two days from now.

The Bonfils Bloodmobile will be in the library parking lot from 10-3:30. Heroes come in all types. Be a hero today and donate blood. The Bonfils Blood Center is on site and donating blood is one of the easiest ways to volunteer and give back to your community. The Bonfils Bloodmobile will be available in the library parking lot. Call 303-363-2300 to make an appointment or register online at

Dinosaur Ridge is hosting TriceraTOTs this morning from 10-11AM. A story-time and craft program geared toward 2-5 year old kids. Siblings welcome! $5 per child non-member, $3/child member, adults free.

The Golden Community Rodeo will be happening on Clear Creek tonight.  Registration starts at 5 and competition starts at 5:45.  Learn more….

Bent Gate has a program tonight from 6-7PM: Introduction to Hiking Colorado’s 14ers. Learn more….

Gateway Village - Golden Colorado

The Planning Commission meets tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. They will consider a site plan and special use permit for two retail buildings with a drive-through at the new Gateway Village development.  To learn more, check the meeting packet….